Douglas Cardinal Housing Corporation

We listen, we learn, and we collaborate to find the right housing solutions for First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities across North America.

Our Story

Douglas Cardinal Housing Corporation (DCHC) is a collaboration between Douglas Cardinal, an internationally renowned Anishinabe architect, and The Usand Group, a company specializing in Aboriginal finance.


We’re an action-based corporation that works with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities to offer collaborative housing solutions, the natural way.

For Douglas Cardinal, that means an emphasis on natural products and culturally appropriate designs that last for generations. For The Usand Group, it means finding the most flexible financial plan that complements the vision alive within each community.

Aboriginal Housing Crisis

Recent statements by the Assembly of First Nations estimate that Aboriginal communities need 100,000 housing units across Canada. In 2006, Statistics Canada found that 45% of First Nations people on reserves, and 17% off reserves, live in homes that need major repairs.


This percentage is 35% higher than non-Aboriginal groups.

Average problems with stick-built homes in Aboriginal communities include:

  • Defective plumbing and electrical wiring.
  • Structural issues with foundations, floors and ceilings; improper drainage and waterproofing; inadequate window frames and ventilation, and leaky roofs.
  • Lack of appropriate insulation for extreme climates, creating mould that can cause mites, viruses, bacteria that leads to asthma, poor community moral and death.
  • Unsafe and undignified conditions that affect the overall well-being of homeowners and the surrounding community.
  • Inappropriate housing designs that do not reflect the environmental, traditional or social needs of First Nations communities.

Find out how we`re addressing the crisis.

Click to DownloadRead our housing booklet
Douglas Cardinal

Douglas Cardinal is a world-renowned Anishinabe architect who has worked for years developing a career in sustainable building. Through his varied work across North America, Douglas Cardinal established himself as a leader in ecologically-designed community planning. His architecture springs from his observation of nature and his understanding that everything works seamlessly together.

  • Compass


  • Pencil and Ruler


  • Game Plan


  • Raised Fist


  • Lightbulb


  • Paint Brush


Douglas Cardinal Headshot

Learn more about Douglas Cardinal
and meet the DCHC team

Open Quote

Douglas Cardinal is one of the visionaries of a new world; a world where beauty, balance and harmony thrive, where client, architect and stakeholder build together with a common vision.”

Our Philosophy

“We hope to create something beautiful that stands as a true testament of those who have come before us, and to be remembered and cherished by those who come after us. One must always seek the good path, and walk along it with dignity and optimism. Like frozen music in time, we capture the spirit of a place whose momentary magic lies embedded within the stone that supports it.”

Signed, Douglas Cardinal
Spruce tree branch
Tree Branch

The Usand Group

We grow with you.

The Usand Group offers a holistic approach to Aboriginal wealth creation by working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities on-the-ground, face-to-face to find innovative financial solutions that align with their vision. Our team collaborates.
Having matured as a company alongside the communities we work with, we understand how culture fits into vision. We honour the values and traditions in our clients communities and take pride in weaving them into one-of-a-kind financial solutions.

How we’re making a difference.

Hand holding molecules

A holistic approach.

From initial meetings to execution, DCHC considers every element—occupant health, safety, durability, reduced operating cost, maintenance and the transition between old and new homes.

The process starts with a free financial assessment of your community, then after an analysis, our team funds a housing development that fits. We align with the capabilities inside the community and foster new skill development by working with local trades to erect the buildings.
Build Green

We build green.

Culturally considerate designs include environmentally friendly practices. We use green building methods and the latest technology to reduce our footprint and invest in sustainable, long-lasting materials that limit upkeep and waste.

We build healthy homes with government tested, cross-laminated, solid timber that minimizes thermal gaps to eliminate mould and energy loss. And, to avoid harmful, cancer-causing radon radiation, we offer models with no basements.

Turn-key solutions.

We offer the whole package—design, finance and building support, bringing the entire process under one collaborative roof.

Douglas Cardinal headshot

Douglas Cardinal

Douglas Cardinal was born in Calgary, Alberta. After high school, his studies at the University of British Columbia took him to Texas, where he achieved his degree in architecture. An advocate of sustainability and green building, Douglas Cardinal established himself as a leader in ecologically-designed community planning. His architecture springs from his observation of nature and an understanding that everything works seamlessly together.

In recognition of such work, Douglas Cardinal has received many national and international awards, including: 18 Honorary Doctorates, Gold Medals of Architecture in Canada and Russia, and an award from the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for best sustainable village. He was also titled an Officer of the Order of Canada, one of the most prestigious awards given to a Canadian, and he was awarded the declaration of being “World Master of Contemporary Architecture" by the International Association of Architects.

Sean McCoshen

Sean McCoshen is the Chairman and CEO of The Usand Group. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Laws Degree, and received his call to the bar in Manitoba. After realizing his affinity towards banking, Sean began working in the field.

Douglas Cardinal headshot
He spent 18 years working as an investment banker, specializing in infrastructure financing. Sean has worked in both Canadian and International markets and has participated in $35Billion USD worth of financings throughout his career. Aware of the housing concerns facing aboriginal people, Sean set out to use his financial experience to create a better housing option. He began looking for a reliable partner who he could work with to build a standard, streamlined, process for financing quality homes and infrastructure on reserves. In 2012, he launched the  Usand Group.

Contact Us

For more information about DCHC, please leave your name and email address in the contact form and one of our regional team members will be in touch.

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